Starbucks NFT Loyalty program was introduced today, called Starbucks Odyssey. The initiative being one of the first Web3 deployments of it’s kind to provide “unique experiences and benefits” to customers and team members. To accomplish this Starbuck’s is using Polygon.
This plan was originally revealed back in early May as part of their initial concept to create an immersive coffee experience. The launch later this year begins with team members and rewards members in the US.
Starbucks has always been one to utilize technology to enhance their business. This Web3 initiative is no different, and being viewed as an opportunity to unlock a new experience for their “community” of customers and team members.
“No single competency is enabling us to elevate the Starbucks brand more than our global leadership in mobile, digital, and loyalty. Starbucks is a clear leader in mobile payments and we are encouraged by how consumers have embraced mobile apps as a way to pay.”Howard Schultz (2013)
This approach goes back years and has been extremely effective for their business. Their long track record of successful loyalty programs, mobile payment options, free Wi-Fi, and mobile options helped engage new customers and retain existing ones, furthering customer lifetime value.
The Starbucks App allows users to order, pay (in store & mobile), find a nearby store, and earn STARS (rewards) for food, drinks, and more. Rewards members receive complimentary coffee and tea refills, and a free drink on their birthday. To no surprise, as of 2021 it is the second most used app in the US, behind Apple Pay, and is free to download. The Starbucks App success has been nothing short of dominant in the payments space.
Howard Shultz understands what NFTs can do for their business. He believes it will allow them to expand on what is called their “third place community.” The term “third place” is normally used to characterize a place between home and work that brings a sensation and experience of belonging. This is the root and core of Starbucks Odyssey, and growing on digitizing the customer experience.
“We believe NFTs have broad potential to create an expanded, shared-ownership model for loyalty, the offering of unique experiences, community building, storytelling, and customer engagement…a Starbucks Digital Community Web3 platform has the potential to pioneer the combination of an approachable, widely accessible front-end, backed by the right blockchain technologies that are fast and inexpensive. ”Starbucks.com
No crypto based wallets or crypto payments are needed for access. Users and members of the Rewards program login via their existing credentials and can purchase limited edition “stamps” (NFT) through existing payments options (credit card/debit card/Apple Pay).
Members are given the option of earning digital collectable “journey stamps” (NFT) for completing “journeys”. Each stamp contains rarity features that contain points based on rarity. All NFTs will be part of a marketplace, enabling members to buy and sell with each other with ownership secured on Polygon.
The plan to start has already begun today with a link to sign up for the waitlist. Next is the “Genesis Collection”. A “Genesis” NFT collection that will establish a community to build upon. They’re applying the rollout in gradual and phased method, and are willing to move and adapt into new uses as they uncover them. They are clear there is no dedication or allegiance to a single chain, they are going to remain chain agnostic.
Look out for more on this at the all day 2022 Investor Day event tomorrow. The event begins at 10:30am ET/7:30am PT and ends 6pm ET/3pm PT, link for the webcast is here.
“It’s really important that we’re looking at it for the long-term…But, given that we’re plugging it into our industry-leading, massive scale rewards program — we’re committed”Brady Brewer (CMO)
It is easy to see there is much more to Starbucks Odyssey than meets the eye.